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It would be wrong to accuse the government of not having a commitment to homeownership. 

In my blog government help to buy I considered three of the latest government initiatives aimed at helping first time buyers to climb onto the property ladder:

  • Help to Buy ISA
  • Help to Buy equity loan
  • Stamp duty exemption for first time buyers.

Over the years, the government has brought out a number of measures aimed at increasing the number of people owning their own home

These initiatives have had mixed success. In this blog I look at arguably the three strongest, most comprehensive and most successful initiatives

Keep an eye on important property news HERE

1. Shared ownership 

Shared ownership is where you buy a part of a property (from 25% to 75%) with the right, normally, to purchase the remaining part in the future.


The government empowers organisations such as housing associations to build housing to be offered on a shared ownership basis.

Properties, which are always leasehold, usually flats, are  available to first time buyers falling into certain priority categories.

Shared ownership properties are usually newly built. But they can also be second-hand – where an existing shared-ownership owner is selling on. 

Sub-letting of shared ownership property is not allowed and for some properties the re-sale market is not strong. Some lenders will not lend on shared ownership properties.

You can buy a shared ownership property in England if:

  • Your household earns £80,000 or less, outside London
  • You household earns £90,000 or less, in London.

Example (Property worth £200,000 with you buying a 50% share)

You buy 50% costing


Seller retains 50%




You pay a rent on the 50% you do not own. You also pay a monthly maintenance or service charge on the whole of the property.


Say no to being a tenant forever (how you can escape the tenant trap)

Buying a property fast (wacky and wicked ways to raise a deposit)

Property buyer newbie (explains the basic steps when buying)


2. Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme has been in existence since 1980 and the rules have changed many times. As a result many people may have the wrong idea as to how the rules operate at the present time.

The right operates under different rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Further information can be found on

The right gives qualifying council tenants the right to apply to buy their council home at a discount on its market price.

If you are a council tenant in England you will qualify if your council home:

  • Is your only or main home
  • Is self-contained.


  • You must be a secure tenant
  • You must have had a public sector landlord for 3 years.

50 Ways To Put Together A Deposit in 6 Months

You can make a right to buy application jointly with:

  • Someone who shares your tenancy
  • Your spouse or civil partner
  • Up to 3 family members who have lived with you for the past 12 months. They don’t have to be on your tenancy agreement but the property must be their main home.

Many people don’t consider the right to buy – thinking they cannot afford a mortgage. However, the opportunity to make a joint application puts funding within the reach of many tenants.

It is good practice to consult an independent financial adviser if you want to consider the funding aspects of buying your council property.

The discount current available (July 2018) is:

Up to £80,900 (across England)
Up to £108,000 (London Boroughs).

The discount increases in line with inflation.

The amount of discount a tenant is entitled to depends on how long they have been a public sector tenant. The discount operates differently for houses and flats.  It grows faster in the case of flats.

You normally have to repay some or all of your discount if you sell your council home within 5 years of buying it.


Raising a deposit (14 common ways to bag a deposit with ease)

Is getting a mortgage easy? (exposes the secrets of getting a mortgage)

My first property (basic stuff first time buyers must know)


3. Right to Acquire 

The Right to Acquire scheme applies to the tenants of housing associations as distinct from councils.

The qualification rules, which can be found on the website, are broadly similar to the Right to Buy but are much less generous in terms of discounts.

At the present time discounts are from £9,000 to £16,000 depending on where you live in the UK.

The government has plans to widen the scheme. If you are a housing association tenant and do not qualify at the moment, keep an eye on the rules going forward in case they are changed in your favour. 

What do you think of the government’s initiatives? Please leave your comments below.

Dalton Barrett
Rebel Property Coach

Please follow me on Twitter @Dalton1London
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  1. Today’s news reported that Londoners need to raise 13 times their salary, on average, so to buy a place if in London you either need to be rich or in Social Housing. The problem really hits home for sons and daughters of London home owners who cannot afford to buy where they grew up and cannot afford the rents either. I wonder if we could set up a scheme for a lot of people to buy a share in a central london house so at least they have a toe on the ladder?

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